I allude to this in a scene in Green Girl, between alpha Agnes, the sexpot Australian, and Ruth, the socially awkward anti-heroine who has just confided to Agnes about her most recent entanglement with the tribe of terrible girls, who work with her at Horrid's, the department store where she sprays perfume, talking about her while she was in a toilet stall, mimicking her. Agnes and her are putting on make-up in the mirror and discussing themselves:
Anyway, you’re really sensitive, you know. Ruth watches Agnes apply black liquid eyeliner, swooping up like cat’s claws. Glaring haughtily in her compact mirror.
Am I sensitive? I don’t think I’m too sensitive. Ruth studies herself in the mirror.
No, no, you are.
What do you mean, exactly?
Well, it’s like, you feel things really strongly, and you can see it on your face.
Oh. Ruth concentrates on a lip gloss. The same moment of hurt, then smoothed over like a shovel on wet sand.
I mean, fuck, who cares? Says Agnes. Who is now looking at Ruth looking at herself in the mirror.
Are you mad? Agnes asks but the way she asks seems to imply that Ruth should not be mad.
Ruth is pouting with her lip gloss, like behind a veneer of glass.
Agnes (as if in consolation): You know who you remind me of?
Ruth: No, who?
This is a favorite game that green girls play.
Agnes: You know who you so are? You are so Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion.
And Ruth has heard this before. In fact, she has heard this so many times before that now she finds herself playing Catherine Deneuve, her impenetrability.
I think it was Meryl Streep who said, real life is not like college, real life is like high school. It's so true. Sometimes I'm still the girl who perennially tried to fit her whole head into the envelope opening of her schoolgirl desk, in order to attempt to mask my tears, like some sort of weird ostrich. But I'm pretty sure I don't want to be someone with a thick skin.
Yesterday I wore to bed a blue T-shirt I had bought in New York for $15. I woke up and my whole body and half my face and my sheets and pillows were covered in blue. Just blue, blue, blue. Like I was some sort of alien. It was so difficult to wash off.